Ribbon Embroidery

Discovering Ribbon Embroidery by me was totally coincidental. During one of my shopping spree, I came across a Ribbon Embroidery Kit. As it was a completely new area for me, I spent some time reading the instructions, just to see if I could do it myself. And the rest is history. After I finished the work, I started getting books on Ribbon Embroidery and have since been doing it.

Ribbon Embroidery does use a few unique stitching techniques, but they are simple and easy to learn. It does need a lot of practice to maneuver the silk ribbon. It has a three-dimensional effect and as you stitch, you can see your work come alive right in front of your eyes. The silk ribbons are chosen for their special properties. They must drape nicely and be able to be pulled through a fabric without damaging the ribbon or the fabric. Though a little expensive, I like to work with the pure silk ribbons. New synthetic ribbons with similar properties and the feel of silk are also available in the market.

You will find my Greeting Cards, Tile paintings, Polymer Clay Jewelry in my online store in Etsy.

Do check it out!!!


My Gallery

"Basket 'O' Roses" below is by Creative Beginnings and the rest are my own creations.

The Picture below is Ribbon embroidery done on Cardstock

How to stitch with Silk Ribbon ( Illustrations)

1. Lazy Daisy Stitch: Bring the needle up at 1. Place the ribbon up and around to form a loop. Take the needle down at 2 and up at 3 in one motion. Try to keep the ribbon flat. Make a small stitch over the loop and down at 4 to finish the stitch.

2 . Ribbon Stitch: Bring the needle up at 1 and take the needle through the center of the ribbon and fabric at 2. Draw the needle slowly through the fabric. As you pull down the ribbon will roll to the inside to form a leaf shape.

3. Straight Stitch: This is Simple. Come up at 1 and and go down at 2. Keep in mind to flatten the ribbon as you go down. Length of the stitch is as you desire.

4. Free Form Flower: Cut about 4inch of 7 mm ribbon and using a matching thread make running stitch along the edge of the ribbon. Pull slowly to create a flower shape. Secure the thread . Position the flower and tack center to the fabric.

5.Spider Flower: Take matching embroidery floss and create a spiderweb to weave your ribbon through. Take a 10 inch length ribbon and come up at the center of the web and weave the ribbon, going over the first spoke and then under the next ,continuing in a circular pattern. The center of the ribbon should be tight and gradually loosen the tension of the ribbon as you move towards the edge and you can occasionally twist the ribbon to make it look more realistic. End the rose by pulling the ribbon under the petal to the wrong side of the fabric and tack it in place.

6. French Knot:Bring the needle up at 1 and wrap the ribbon around the needle two times. Insert the needle through the fabric at 2. Hold the ribbon tight as you pull through the ribbon through the fabric. Take a small stitch to anchor and hold the knot in place.

7. Chain Stitch: Bring the needle up at 1. Reinsert the needle very close to 1. Bring the needle back up at 3 and pull the ribbon through the loop created at point 1 slowly and to the desired size. You have now formed your first chain stitch. Reinsert your needle near 3 and continue the guidelines given to you earlier.

8. Loop Stitch: Come at 1 and stitch down very close to 1 at 2 and pull the ribbon slowly insert a pencil or a drinking straw through the loop formed on the top .Pull the ribbon snug to hold the shape. Keep the drinking straw in the loop until the next petal is made in the same manner. Then remove the first straw and these upright petals can be tacked in place.

9. Basket Weave Stitch:Stitch horizontal straight stitches first91-2, 3-4,5-6, 7-8. See that the ribbons are not twisted and are flat. Weave the needle over and under the horizontal stitches and finally go down at 2 and come up at 3 weave in an alternating pattern go down at 4. Continue in this manner to fill the space.

10. Folded Rose: Take an 8" ribbon. Find the center and finger press a45 degree fold to create an L shape (A). Folded and press the horizontal leg to the back so it extends to the left (B)Fold the vertical leg to the back so it extends downwards(C) Fold the horizontal leg back so is extends to the right (D). Keep repeating. On reaching the end of the ribbon, hold the last fold and its leg firmly between the thumb and forefinger, letting the folded section to release itself(E) Take a matching thread and tack the rose at the base and position it and tack where ever you like the flower to be attached.

11. Wrapped Stitch: Make a straight stitch (1-2) of desired length . Bring the needle up at point A close to point 1 Wrap the straight stitch by slipping the needle consecutively several times under the stitch .Wrap to completely fill the stitch, make sure the ribbons lies flat . To end, go down at 2.

12. Pistil Stitch: Bring the needle up at 1 and wrap the ribbon twice around the shaft of needle. Swing the point of the needle clockwise and insert into fabric at 2, a distance from 1. Pull the wrapped ribbon snugly around needle and hold with thumb and forefinger with your non stitching hand , as you pull the needle through to the back of the fabric.

If the illustrations I have given is a little hard to follow, please check out these very well put together Youtube links that I found.

A Few Ribbon embroidery designs to practice

1. Goldfinch : Body, head, crown, wing and tail done with straight ribbon stitch

Eye: French knot with Floss ,Beak and feet straight stitch with floss.

2. Rooster: Back tail feathers,back, side,wing , neck, head ,comb and upper leg , straight stitch. The beak and feet are done with floss in straight stitch. Eye with floss in French knot

3. Barn swallows: Body, head, throat, wings in straight stitches . Tail in ribbon stitch, Eye in floss with French knot. Beak with floss in straight stitch.

4. Hen and Chick: Body ,wings, tail, upper legs, neck , head and comb all straight stitch. Eye French Knot with floss, Beak and feet straight stitch with floss

5 . Duck: Tail done in ribbon stitch. Body, neck, tail, and wing straight stitch. Eye: French Knot in floss. Beak straight stitch in floss

6. Penguin: Back, Belly, wing, head, and tail in straight stitch. Eyes: Make a small straight stitch with white ribbon and then make a French knot with black floss in the middle. This time beak and feet in done in straight stitch with 2mm ribbon.

7.Hummingbird: Body, head ,breast, throat all in straight stitch. The last part on the tail is done in ribbon stitch. Eye : French Knot in floss and the beak in straight stitch with floss.

Stitches used for the Butterfly

Body: Wrapped stitch

Wings: Straight stitch

Antennae and Tails : Stem stitch with Floss

Some of the wings are topped with French knot done with Floss which is represented in the design with dots

My References & Resources

Learn to do Ribbon Embroidery in Just One Day by De Selby

Splendid Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Chris Rankin

Two- hour Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Malissa Williams

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Flowers by Deanna Hall West

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery ,Birds, Butterflies,and Blossoms by Deanna Hall West

Embellishing With Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Esther Randall

The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Judith Baker Montano

Ribbon Basics by Mary Jo & Joy Anckner

Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano

Esther's Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Esther Randall